Release Date: Apr 2, 2013
Record label: Pampa
On this tour de force by Teutonic EDM don Stefan Kozalla, the root vibe is elegant techno minimalism, but that vibe is augmented with wildly eccentric detailing: ADHD hip-hop jump-cuts, sneaky melodies, oddball instrumentation, warped vocals and more. The shadow of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" floats through "Das Wort." "Marilyn Whirlwind" loops a virtual guitar jam. And on a German-language version of Rodgers and Hart's "I Could Write a Book," the old Pal Joey standard, DJ Koze imagines the most E'd-up musical-theater revival ever.
Stefan Kozella is a whimsical guy. His music, from his early hip-hop moment through to his minimal techno heyday, has always been suffused with warm psychedelic colour. He brings that touch to his renowned remixes, where he reshapes the tracks of others in ways that would seem totally foreign to most. His first solo album in nine years, Amygdala appears after a quiet period that produced only 2009’s remix retrospective Reincarnations, and the founding of his own Pampa imprint.
DJ KozeAmygdala[Pampa Records; 2013]By Gabriel Szatan; April 23, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweet"It feels as if I'm leaving my body. " So goes a snippet of muffled conversation that tees up Stefan Kozalla's sprawling, soft-focus, self-styled "Sgt. Pepper", and the immediate assumption is that this is a snatch of film dialogue, most likely from an obscure '90s arthouse about European club culture.
Titled after a region within the brain that is connected to fear and pleasure, Stefan Kozalla's second proper DJ Koze album follows his first one by eight years. Each successive release that trailed Kosi Comes Around -- including singles for Kompakt, Philpot, and his own Pampa, as well as remixes anthologized on 2009's Reincarnations -- amplified Kozalla's reputation for consistency despite his lawless approach to techno. Amygdala should continue the streak.
Over the last 13 years, Stefan Kozalla, better known as DJ Koze, established himself as one of the most playful producers in electronic music. Through numerous singles and remixes (not to mention an excellent remix compilation), he developed a cheeky and light-footed touch that was distinctive in a way few producers can manage. Amygdala is his second proper album as DJ Koze, and it arrives on his own Pampa label a full eight years after his first full-length, Kosi Comes Around.
It has been a long wait for a follow up to 2005’s Kosi Comes Around, Stefan Kozella’s first proper release in album format. Touted as his Sgt. Pepper’s, Amygdala is, as you would expect after eight years, an entirely different creature from its predecessor. Whereas Kosi Comes Around’s ‘Don’t Feed the Cat’ and ‘Brutalga Square’ resided in the realm of dancefloor-threatening techno, Amygdala has left the club, queued for a minicab, piled indoors, switched on the mood lighting and begun the slow but steady spiral into the morning after the night before.
Over the past decade, Stefan Kozalla has kept his fingers in many pies. Besides recording his debut LP as DJ Koze in 2005, Kozalla has released a handful of DJ mixes, remixed songs for a slew of Kompakt artists and has recorded singles under aliases like Monaco Schranze and Adolf Noise. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Amygdala (DJ Koze's forever-in-the-making sophomore release) would utilize such an overwhelming array of ideas and voices.
Steve Coleman and Five Elements FUNCTIONAL ARRHYTHMIAS. Vibration is essence for the alto saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman, whose nearly 30-year output as a leader suggests one long investigation, discursive but controlled. “Functional Arrhythmias,” just out on Pi Recordings, comes with a ….
You could get lost digging into the first album in eight years from Stefan Kozalla, a.k.a. German producer DJ Koze. The number of guests (including Matthew Dear, Apparat, and Caribou’s Dan Snaith) and the songs’ lengths, depths, and varying textures make it easy to get spun. “Track ID Anyone?” opens “Amygdala” with a jumble of vocal samples, backward synths, and found-sound percussion before settling into a clipping beat and spectral vocal line.